Adam Lambert is ready to show you a different side of himself. Right after the singer exploded on the scene as the runner-up on American Idol‘s season 8, it seemed you couldn’t open a magazine or turn on the radio without hearing about Lambert. (Not, of course, that we’re complaining.) He was everywhere: the Idol tour, rocking the house with his performances, and stirring up controversy on the American Music Awards and in photo spreads.
But recently, our favorite glam rocker has seemed quiet. But Glamberts should fear not: that’s all about to change.
The singer went back to the scene of the crime as an American Music Awards presenter this past weekend, got down with Queen at the European Music Awards this month, and even tried his hand at reality TV again, shooting a guest appearance giving his one-of-a-kind style advice to struggling designers on the new season of All On the Line with Joe Zee, premiering Friday on Sundance (Lambert’s episode airs Dec. 9; exclusive photos from his appearance above and below). Not to mention he’s been prepping his next big album.
EW caught up with Lambert and he gave us the scoop on what’s coming next. Check out what he had to say about:
The Fashion. You don’t get to be known as the glam rocker for nothing, but Lambert’s loud fashion tastes may be quieting down.“I think [on Idol] I was really attracted to flashier, tackier fashion,” he says. “I think there’s a beauty in tacky fashion. Even some of the pop performers of the past decade, it’s real sparkly and flashy and I was trying to do my best homage to the late ‘70s glam rock idea, with the rhinestones and feathers, stuff that was as out-there and ridiculous as possible.”
And between reading the European fashion mags and growing up a bit, don’t be surprised if you see a slightly different-looking Lambert these days. “I’ve kind of started to tone it down in the respect that [my look] is not as flashy now. It’s still different and avant-garde, but it’s a bit more chic; a bit more designer as opposed to Vegas.” With all that passion, is there any chance Lambert will be starting his own line? “I’d love to work on my own fashion line, accessory line, shoes or something,” he shares. “[But] obviously right now I’m focused on my music.”
Still, Lambert’s connection to fashion made him a perfect fit to go on Joe Zee, an opportunity Lambert says was a real privilege.”[Zee] is such an intelligent, creative guy and we just hit it off really well,” he says. Lambert will guest on the show known as “fashion bootcamp,” assisting Zee and giving tough love to designers struggling to find their vision and voice.
The Music. As if anyone could forget. The “Whataya Want From Me” and “For Your Entertainment” singer is hard at work on his sophomore album, Trespassing, and expects it to be released early next year with the first single, the just-announced “Better Than I Know Myself” (which he promises will be upbeat) dropping next month.
This time around, Lambert executive produced his record, and started writing material last February. “The style [on the new album] is a little bit evolved,” he says. “I think the last album I was trying to update the style of the late ‘70s, early ‘80s with the glam rock and with rock music on a whole visually and aesthetically. I think this album is more in the direction of contemporary again. It’s fresh and it’s something people maybe haven’t heard before. Lyrically, it’s very honest and real.”
It may be emotionally real, but you should still be ready to dance. (He’s working with Nile Rodgers!) Lambert says he’s been seriously influenced by dubstep, as well as, surprisingly, the dance music currently being blasted on the radio. “I love Top 40. I eat it up,” he says. “We’ve been trying to take great songs and then as far as the production and the sonic nature of them, we try to give them a funk sensibility. I think it’s a really cool new sound.”
The Cause. And, of course, Lambert is also a role model for gay youth, making an “It Gets Better” video and appearing on the cover of The Advocate last month. Most touching of all? His new song “Outlaws of Love” is about gay marriage, a haunting and beautiful ballad he wrote in response to the hate he was seeing around him and in the news. “Love is such a beautiful thing,” he says. “When you’re lucky enough to find love it’s one of the greatest feelings in the world. And the particular challenge for gay people, and particularly gay men, from my perspective, is [that] monogamy and true love works. Because we are brought up in a society that tells us it’s wrong.”
“Outlaws of Love” deals with these themes of feeling like an outsider in a world that feels like it may be out against you. “I mean, it’s a tough life,” he says. “And contrary to popular belief, it’s not a f—ing choice.”